Consultancy –Approach & Methodology

Date: 2020-04-27

A consultant is somebody who gives advice. A consultant is someone who has some level of expertise that some people find valuable, and for which they are willing to pay to access the expertise.

Increasing today, consulting is becoming a broader industry incorporating roles such as management consultants, recruitment consultants, business advisors thus encompassing all aspects of an organization.

So, Consultancy is a varied profession, with projects and clients changing constantly. This can be the beauty but also the challenge of the profession.

The role of a consultant starts from the initial engagement with the client where both the parties agree on the objectives of the engagement and decide on the path to achieving the objectives. During this step, you not only close sales but also develop trust and peer-to-peer relationships.

7 Step consultancy approach

During a client engagement, consultants typically go through 7 key phases. In order to execute a successful project, the consultant will need to perform well at each stage. 

1. Staffing Phase

  • A Major determinant of the value that a consultant provides is driven by the people that they provide.
  • Select the best and most capable resources available in your firm

2. Client Onboarding Phase

  • An important step during the consultancy process is establishing clear expectations with the client, without which, consultants set themselves up for unnecessary friction down the road.
  • Be careful not to overpromise at this stage.
  • Once set an expectation, do your very best to meet it or exceed it.
  • Bring you team up to speed with the client profile & expectations.

3. Discovery Phase

  • Consultant spend the most time in the client discovery phase
  • After early phase, need to deep drive and figure out as to why the problem is occurring.
  • Identify key stakeholders & conduct interviews and discussions with key stakeholders.
  • Structure the problems stated
  • Prioritize the issues as per the stakeholders

4. Analysis & Solution Phase

  • In the data, separate the important from the superfluous
  • Consultants find anomalies in the data and determine if  they are relevant
  • Following up with the client and keep them updated with relevant information and checkpoints.
  • Make the information/data speak by generating solutions and answers to the business problem. 
  • All this requires both “dedicated analysis “as well as “innovative thinking.”

5. Recommendation Phase 

  • It’s a climactic phase of the consultation cycle.
  • Here the findings are provided to the client
  • To be successful in this phase a consultant should have an understanding of the client, being confident but willing to admit mistakes, and telling a great story.
  • A consultant needs to do his/her homework well to achieve the desired result

6. Implementation Phase

  • Most of the time during this phase the Consultant is an observer.
  • Here consultants ensure that the recommended processes are followed and help in case of snags
  • Consultants here take notes and  understand if the desired results are achieved

7. Service & Future Scope

  • If the consultant is successful in providing a desirable solution then there may be an opportunity for follow-on work
  • Consultant proactively should propose additional projects
  • Map the challenge area and your consultancy capabilities before sharing a proposal

Overall a good consultant always makes sure to step back and have a look at the overall process from time to time.

While it’s impossible to prepare for the unknown as there will be bumps in the road, A consultant’s job is to help the client navigate whatever storm or lull that they are facing. 

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